Location: 4 miles south, 2 miles west of Larchwood
Motoring Restrictions: Electric Motors Only
Amenities at Lake Pahoja include:
- Boat Access
- Accessible Pier
- Boat Rental
- Picnic Area
- Accessible Facilities
- Good/Excellent Shorefishing
- Hard Surface Boat Ramp
Fall 2012 D.C. Electrofishing Assessment – Lake Pahoja suffered a significant fish kill that began on September 12, 2012. Low oxygen and high ammonia levels were the likely cause of the kill that lasted a number of days. It is assumed that fall turnover occurred during a significant cyanobacteria bloom causing an unusual demand for oxygen.
Fall electrofishing was conducted on September 26th, 2012 to assess the extent of the fall fish kill on the adult and subadult fish populations of Lake Pahoja.
Good numbers of largemouth bass were sampled during the fall 2012 D.C electrofishing assessment. A total of 74 largemouth bass were sampled, for a catch rate of 0.90 fish per minute, indicating good numbers of largemouth bass remain in Lake Pahoja. An electrofishing catch rate of 1 largemouth bass per minute, > 8.0 inches would typically predict 20-largemouth bass/acre, the desired value for a healthy and balanced population. An estimate of 8 fish per acre (objective 8 – 12 fish per acre) of stock (8.0 – 11.9 inches) size fish suggests good numbers of this size group, remains in Lake Pahoja. Quality (12.0 – 14.9 inches) and preferred (> 15.0 inches) size fish comprised the sample at 5 fish per acre, respectively (objective 4 –6 fish per acre) indicating good numbers of this size group are also present in Lake Pahoja.
A largemouth PSD (proportional stock density) value of 57% (target range 40 – 60 percent) suggests the presence of a balanced largemouth bass population remaining in Lake Pahoja. Quality (12.0 – 14.9 inches) and preferred (> 15.0 inches) size fish represented 27 and 30% percent of the total largemouth bass catch. Stock (8.0 – 11.9 inches) size largemouth bass comprised the remaining 43 percent of the total largemouth bass sampled.
During the fish kill investigation numbers of all size groups of largemouth bass were observed washed up on the shoreline all around the lake, suggesting a significant impact; however, the overall largemouth bass population appears to be effected by the fish kill in a lesser degree then the other fish species in Lake Pahoja.
Bluegills were also sampled during the 2012 Fall D.C. electrofishing assessment. A bluegill PSD value of 10 declined significantly (42, 2011 fall D.C. electrofishing), reflecting a significant impact of the fall fish kill on the bluegill population of Lake Pahoja. Length frequency analysis reflects stock (3.0 - 5.9 inches) size fish well represented in the sample (89%) indicating the presence good numbers of small fish dominating the Lake Pahoja bluegill population. Quality (6.0 – 7.9 inches) and preferred (> 8.0 inches) size fish comprised the remaining 8 and 2 percent respectively of the total bluegill catch. The low numbers of angler acceptable size bluegill no doubt indicates that the fall fish kill significantly impacted the population by reducing the numbers of quality size and larger bluegill in Lake Pahoja.
No black crappie, channel catfish or yellow perch were sampled during the 2012 D.C. fall electrofishing assessment, suggesting that the fall fish kill devastated these species.
Rough fish comprised of one small carp was also sampled during the fall 2012 D.C. electrofishing assessment. County personnel reported the discovery of a pond above Lake Pahoja that contained high numbers of small carp and expressed a concern about the possible escapement of numbers of rough fish from this pond into Lake Pahoja. Also numbers of grass carp, first stocked in 1975 in Lake Pahoja remained in the lake prior to the fish kill. With the public perception of a significant fish kill and the opportunity to eradicate the rough fish population, Lyon County Conservation personnel decided the time was right to renovate and attempt a spring restocking project for Lake Pahoja. The fish management staff worked with county personnel for a planned renovation during the early spring with the restocking of adult largemouth bass and bluegill after lake detoxification. It has been shown in other Iowa lakes that this type of stocking can provide a fishery within two to three years.
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The vast majority of Iowa’s streams, rivers and lakes offer safe and high-quality fish that pose little or no threat to human health if consumed. Some limitations may apply for young children and pregnant women. Here’s a Fish Consumption Fact Sheet from the Iowa DNR and the Iowa Dept. of Public Health for more information. Here is a list of current fish consumption advisories for Iowa lakes and rivers.